MLB: Nationals in play-offs

A review of Thursday's Major League Baseball action

Last Updated: 21/09/12 9:46am

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Ryan Zimmerman: RBI double

Ryan Zimmerman: RBI double

Sky Bet

The Washington Nationals reached the play-offs for the first time since 1933 after they beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-1.

Ross Detwiler's six strong innings and Ryan Zimmerman's RBI double helped Washington to a National League wild card as they reduced their magic number to win the NL East to eight and extended their advantage over Atlanta to five and a half games.

But the Nationals were not the first team to clinch a play-off spot after that had been achieved earlier in the day by the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 5-3 with manager Dusty Baker absent and in hospital after being diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat.

Cincinnati, leaders of the NL Central, ensured at last a wild card spot and moved to within two wins of taking the title for the second time in three years.

Johnny Cueto (18-9) pitched six shutout innings as the Reds completed a three-game sweep. Alfredo Simon got four outs for his first save.

Go-ahead run

The Reds broke a scoreless tie by getting five straight singles off Manuel Corpas in the seventh during a five-run rally capped by Henry Rodriguez's two-run double.

The St Louis Cardinals beat the Houston Astros 5-4 for a 6-0 sweep at home against their opponents as pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran snapped a sixth-inning tie with a two-run double and Allen Craig hit a three-run homer.

The Milwaukee Brewers rallied for a 9-7 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates with Rickie Weeks hitting a tying two-run triple and scoring the go-ahead run on Aramis Ramirez's single to make it five straight victories.

The San Francisco Giants moved to a magic number of four as the West leaders beat the Colorado Rockies 9-2 as Pablo Sandoval homered from both sides of the plate.

The San Diego Padres were 6-5 winners over the Arizona Diamondbacks with Jesus Guzman homering as Clayton Richard allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings to raise his career record against Arizona to 6-0.

Philadelphia stormed to a 16-1 thumping of the New York Mets.

The New York Yankees opened up a one-game lead in the American League East with a 10-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Ichiro Suzuki hit a go-ahead, two-run double in a seven-run fourth inning capped by Nick Swisher's grand slam.

The Yankees completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays to make it five wins in a row.

Toronto trailed 10-4 before a three-run eighth. David Robertson got three outs for his second save this season.

Central leaders Chicago White Sox suffered a blow to their hopes with a 4-3 defeat by the Kansas City Chiefs.

Tampa Bay beat Boston 7-4, Oakland were 12-4 winners over Detroit, Cleveland needed 10 innings to edge Minnesota 4-3 and Texas beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1.

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